A Critical Review of the Key Theories

A critical review of the key theories of first   (LA) and second language (SLA) and literacy acquisition and development;
language and literacy approaches to teaching in relation with the key theories.

Language acquisition theories have always been concentrated on “nature” distinction. Some theoreticians believed that it is innate factors that determine the acquisition of language, while others based their theories on environmental factors. In this review a range of different views of language acquisition will be discussed. Most of these theories may be considered in both L1 – first language, and L2 - second or foreign language acquisition.
This study also examines language methods involved in teaching practices and their reflection in the key theories.

LA and SLA Theories

The Social-Interaction (LA)

The theory claims that in the learning process, social interaction plays a very important role. Vygotsky emphasizes the role of “shared language” in the progress of thought and language; it refers to social interaction and to the concept of “zone of proximal development”. According to Vygotsky (1962), two developmental levels determine the learning process: egocentricity and interaction.
Vygotsky suggests that egocentric speech is social and helps children interact with others. When a child is alone he uses less egocentric language than he uses it when playing games with other children. This implies that speech is influenced by the presence of other people.

Socio-Cultural Perspective (SLA)

In the Socio- Cultural Perspective theory Lantolf, Donato and Brooks argue that in order to be successful linguistically an individual needs to act. According to this theory, the modified input created within relations can be facilitating in explaining linguistic forms that learners found hard to understand. By modified input, it is thought to mean the input that is created through interaction by the interlocutors, in order to facilitate their...